Tidal Energy Project
Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG) aims to realise the first community owned/led tidal flow project in Wales. The proposal would consist of a single device or a small array of tidal turbines deployed off the coastline of Fishguard and Goodwick. This supports TBG’s aims to mitigate the community’s impact on climate change by providing sustainable and secure energy, whilst also bringing financial benefits for both local investors and community initiatives.
Development of a community tidal flow device will be an exemplar of best practice and provide a working demonstration of how tidal technology can deliver not only environmental benefit but wider community benefits too. It will provide a blueprint for other communities across our coastline to utilise marine energy as a resource for future resilience.
The timescale for the project depends on three key external factors:
- Identification of a suitable tidal device/s with market readiness;
- This impacts on the seabed leasing options, as three devices need to be selected at an early stage in order to proceed with the application.
- The environmental impact assessment linked to the marine licensing.
This is a new and emerging market; historically the few devices that have been successfully deployed have been pilot projects with extensive timeframes. Based on a maturing market, the project is currently projected at approximately three to five years. Other factors, such as the scale of the array and the required infrastructure i.e. grid connection / storage etc, may also impact on the timeframe.
Storage and Local Energy Systems
Opportunities will be sought to engage with others on local energy and storage networks. It is important to address the issue of grid network links or look to other options such as production of hydrogen for the Fishguard train or ferry. Initial contacts have taken place with Birmingham University who are specialists in this area, and also train franchisees who are looking to securing the train line services from Fishguard for the next 15 years.
To date TBG’s Tidal Project has been funded by Pembrokeshire’s Sustainable Development Fund and the EU LEADER programme, which is administered by Arwain Sir Benfro.
This funding supports a part time development officer, part time support worker and, consultants when required. This project will enable the community to lead a partnership, and secure; funding for further technical and environmental studies; the seabed lease; marine licence; and latterly accumulate community capital in the project.
LEADER funding has also financed a fact finding mission and community and partner events. This work has helped to develop wider partnerships and improved knowledge by visiting sites which are further forward in this new market or have successfully installed devices.
Welsh Government Energy Service (WGES) (formerly Ynni Lleol, Local Energy), run by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), provides financial and technical support to help social enterprises and SMEs across Wales to develop their own renewable energy schemes.
Marine Energy Wales is a partnership between technology developers, the supply chain, academia and the public sector working together to establish Wales as a global leader for sustainable marine energy generation.
Renew Wales supports community based action on climate change across Wales.
SEACAMS1&2 aim to integrate research and business opportunities in the marine sector in Wales. A partnership between Bangor and Swansea Universities, with a wide range of expertise covering all areas of marine science, ranging from marine biology to marine physics. Swansea University have published their research case studies, including their work with TBG.
Fact Finding Trip September 2017 – Scotland
The TBG Tidal team visited Scottish innovation energy projects with community leadership. The trip was organised with members from our partners Cwm Arian, Ynni Llŷn and Enlli Tidal Flow, Cadwyn Clwyd and Eversholt Rail (UK).
The trip to Edinburgh and Orkney, led to working with various partners and host organisations, we visited Scottish innovation energy projects with community leadership:
1) Levenmouth, Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd. This project is addressing some of Scotland’s most pressing energy issues: the provision of low carbon transport; and energy storage.
2) Orkney Surf ‘n’ Turf: renewable marine hydrogen, Community Energy Scotland. Surf’n’Turf refers to the combined use of electricity supplied from tidal turbines and a nearby onshore wind turbine. The overall objective is to benefit the community through enhanced employment security and training as well as reduced harbour electricity costs and increased FiT/ROC revenue. Our Orkney trip coincided with Surf & Turf launching event on Wednesday 26th September.
4) Scot Renewables (device developers, a commercial company).
3) Eday Island – Community Wind Turbine/hydrogen in partnership with local council and ferries. EMEC tidal turbine testing site.
4) European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) – Presentation and meeting at EMEC office, visit to wave testing site in Stromness
5) Meeting with SME device developers
Watch to find out more about our energy projects!
‘Past, Present, Future’
The project’s second partnership meeting was held on Thursday 23rd November 2017 at the Fishguard Bay Hotel, attended by key partners and interested parties, including EST, Marine Energy Wales, SEACAMS, SeaTrust. The title for the day was: ‘Past, Present, Future of TBG’s tidal flow project’. There were a variety of presentations, covering what we have achieved over the last year, our fact finding trip to Scotland and future developments including a WEFO funding application related to a local grid for energy distribution.
Presentations included: NRW provided an overview of the scoping process TBG is undertaking for Strumble Head tidal area: Marine Energy Wales provided an overview of the developments in Wales in regards to tidal and wave, emphasising the development of the wave testing site off Pembroke: Nova Innovation provided details on their tidal devices and developments in Wales and Scotland.
Coastal Energy Event
On 22nd March 2017 we hosted, in partnership with Renew Wales, a free Coastal Energy event at the Fishguard Bay Hotel. The aims of the event were to inform and engage communities and organisations on a range of issues covering tidal flow projects and their environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes and, alternative transport and storage/energy systems. The event attracted over 50 delegates, mostly from the community sector. Keynote speaker Jennifer Pride, Welsh Government’s Head of Renewable Energy, kicked off the morning session, followed by a case study via Skype from Scotland and a panel discussion. TBG presented information about their new community tidal energy project funded by Arwain Sir Benfro’s LEADER fund and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. The afternoon session consisted of a variety of energy-themed workshops from providers including, Cadwyn Clwyd, Cilgwyn Community, Sea Trust, Marine Space and Swansea Bay City Region representatives.
Partner Launch Meeting
The project concept has been developed over a number of years but is still in its early stages, however with funding secured a partnership launch took place on 24th November, 2016. This exciting venture is supported by a number of key partners including Local Energy, EST’s community renewable programme, Marine Energy Wales (also Marine Energy Pembrokeshire), Renew Wales and SEACAMS based at Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities.